by Spandna Chokhani
I gave my paw one final lick and pressed my nose against the glass. The mangy canine “I refuse to bestow the dignity of a name on a creature with no sense of personal boundaries or personal hygiene” was, as usual, outside digging in the yard. It was about time, I strained my ears for the unmistakable sound of our human’s footsteps.
Sure enough, she soon came into view, yelling, her flat footed slippers flapping inelegantly. I almost rose to rub against her but reined myself in; I was a cat on a mission. “Coco! Jackie!” she hollered. “Mommy’s got food! You don’t wanna miss dinner, Coco!”
As if! The canine came bounding in, spraying the kitchen floorboards with drool, mud and grass. “Good girl,” cooed our human as she scratched its ears. I tried to tamp down the flare of jealousy. Not now, I told myself firmly. I stretched and dropped down beside my bowl as our human gave the canine its food.
Next, the human spooned out my dinner and scratched my ears saying, “Eat up, Jackie.” I purred with pleasure. Then, as always, she returned to the study and shut the door, leaving us alone to eat. I looked around. The canine was busy slurping. I quietly slipped from the kitchen and snuck out through the flap. In the yard, I steeled myself and walked to the pile of fresh earth the canine had dug today.
I don’t know how I did it. I don’t want to talk about it. I could barely stand myself as I walked back into the house and went into the living room. The couch gleamed, ivory white and pristine with lace covers. I snuggled into it, rolling around, relishing the cleanliness as the dirt wiped off. I soon cleaned myself of the most visible streaks of mud. Washing off the rest over the next few days was a price I was willing to pay.
I hopped onto the coffee table and meowed loudly. The canine came rushing to investigate. I crouched invitingly and swished my tail. The canine woofed with joy and lunged at me. I jumped aside at the last moment and the canine’s paws knocked the porcelain centerpiece. It hit the floor with a resounding crash. Perfect. I slunk away to the kitchen as the study door opened and our human ran into the living room.
I could hear the exclamations from the living room as I started on my meal. “My god! Coco, you know you’re not supposed to climb the couch!” I licked my lips. Mmm. “Bad girl, Coco, no treat for you tonight!” I smiled to myself. A few more days. Step by step?
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.